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Tue, Oct. 22

School staff recovers unloaded gun from student

A 9-year-old student at Rimrock's Beaver Creek Elementary School was arrested after staff found an unloaded .22 handgun in the child's backpack, according to the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office.

During the April 1 lunch period, a teacher was informed by a student that a classmate brought a gun to school and had already showed it to at least four other students, the police report stated.

The suspect also threatened this particular student with harm if any teachers were told about the gun, according to police. The student told the teacher and administrators were notified, isolated the student, and recovered the handgun from his backpack located in a classroom. The gun was not loaded and no rounds were found.

The gun is owned by the suspect's grandmother and she later told deputies it was kept in a cabinet drawer in her home. The suspect claimed he found it under a bed in the home. The suspect told deputies he brought the gun to school to show some classmates who did not believe he had one. The suspect resides at his grandmother's house, along with his mother and recently enrolled at the school, according to the police report. He was arrested at approximately 2 p.m. for disorderly conduct/displaying deadly weapon, disrupting/interference of education institution, and threats.

The suspect was booked at the Prescott Juvenile Detention Center. No charges are expected involving the suspect's grandmother.

According to a YCSO spokesman, the deputy handling this case works exclusively in schools throughout the Verde Valley assigned to the Law Enforcement Education Deputy (LEED) program. This allows the deputy time for ongoing follow-up and the opportunity to provide special programs to students including gun safety. LEED deputies are currently sharing gun safety tips in many area schools at part of the NRA's Eddie Eagle program. Students are instructed that when a gun is found, they should "STOP! DON'T' TOUCH. LEAVE THE AREA. TELL AN ADULT." This is exactly what a concerned student did in this case and YCSO commends the action along with the quick resolve by school officials to secure the gun and suspect, said the spokesman.

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